“Rhythms of Fear”


Lefebvre suggests that the city dweller need make use of all his senses while walking around urban space in order to pay attention fully to its rhythms and that the average walker is only aware of his body when necessary, like the potential danger when crossing the street. For the female walker, this danger transgresses the street’s physical function to the potentiality of harassment or violence. Attuning oneself to these hidden rhythms is something women have done, instinctively, for decades. She is the real academic in Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis. She feels the rhythms of the city with unquantifiable instinct. She watches for that particular look in a man’s eye, the group of men outside a pub, following their gaze to her legs; she listens for the approaching footsteps, the following car engine. We obey the patriarchal times of the city: nightfall, when the atmosphere alters and fear comes, when we are driven out.” Thanks to Liz K. for the link!


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